People go to events for two main reasons: 1) to connect with business through networking, and 2) to learn something new they can use to work more efficiently and get better results.
You can take advantage of both situations to generate content ideas.
Use the speakers
I had a very engaged group at my session yesterday. Many had started the conversation with me before coming to the session -- through this blog and on Twitter, as well as in person.
Those in attendance had the opportunity to help define the content of the talk by asking questions and sharing their ideas. The speaker provides thought starters up front, and defines the question.
The people who want to be in the room can tap into the collective knowledge, including that of the speaker, by participating.
Which is why I spent 30 minutes of my session proving thought starters, and the remaining 30 answering questions. And we had excellent questions from the group.
The big idea here is to use the speakers as a source and bounce ideas off them. Most speakers I have met are very generous with what they know.
Use the networking
When I meet people and start talking about their projects and work, I get a ton of ideas about content.
Conversations about problems common to the industry, or specific issues are excellent starting points for articles or posts.
Often, there are also open questions you can answer more at length with a blog post. If I were on the famous elevator or escalator ride with a CEO, I would ask her what keeps her up at night, then write my take on tackling the issue.
The big idea here is that networking doesn't stop when the person is gone. You can bridge offline and online.
What do you find most challenging when it comes to utilizing events to develop content for work?